Australia Tests Improved National Positioning

Australia Tests Improved National Positioning

According to Geoscience Australia, technology companies GMV, Inmarsat and Lockheed Martin have joined Australia's two-year national positioning project. The project is trialling a Satellite Based Augmentation System (SBAS) to improve the accuracy of Australia's positioning. The testing of SBAS technology in Australia offers a number of potential safety, productivity, efficiency and environmental benefits to many local industries, including transport, agriculture, construction and resources.

The SBAS test-bed is Australia's first exploratory step to joining countries such as the United States, Europe, China, Russia, India and Japan, which are already using the technology on a daily basis. Research has shown that the wide-spread adoption of improved positioning technology has the potential to generate upwards of AUD73 billion of value to Australia by 2030, according to Gary Johnston, head of Geoscience Australia's Geodesy and Seismic Monitoring Branch.

In January 2017, the Australian Government announced AUD12 million in funding for the trial of SBAS technology.

Two Systems Put to the Test

Geoscience Australia will be testing two satellite positioning technologies - next generation SBAS and Precise Point Positioning - which provide positioning accuracies of several decimetres and five centimetres respectively.

Australia currently relies on the Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) of other countries including the United States' Global Positioning System (GPS). These international systems typically give Australians positioning accuracy of five to 10 metres.

In March, Geoscience Australia and the CRCSI will call for organisations from a number of industries including agriculture, aviation, construction, mining, maritime, road, spatial, and utilities to participate in the test-bed.

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